We had been in Washington for about 6 months and someone suggested that we take part of a big local hit, The Deming Logging Show. We were sitting watching loggers do some crazy and amazing things while striking up conversations with those around us.
Alyssa was talking with this older gentlemen who was telling us the history of the logging show while explaining what was taking place at each event. We smiled blissfully as if we understood everything. It was fun and we enjoyed the festivities. Alyssa then shared with him that we just moved to Washington from California and the gentlemen said, “I knew it, you don’t look like you are from here.” We knew were were the outsiders joining a new community had a good laugh at the exchange.
Have you even been an outsider and looking in?
The Bible addresses this in a bigger way that those outside of Jesus, because of sin, were outsiders unable to come close to God. The Apostle Paul writes, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). He is writing to Gentile Christians to show that before Christ there was this separation from the Jewish people. But now in Jesus that separation has been broken down (he calls it the wall of hostility- Eph 2:14).
This is great news! As an outsider we could never come close to God. Sin had separated us. Our situation was hopeless and helpless. But, because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection we can be brought near.
We go from rebellious insurrectionist to the kingdom of God (Eph 2:1-3), to his children (Gal 3:26). For those in Jesus are no longer outsiders looking in. They are brought near and included. They are not strangers nor aliens but citizens of his kingdom (Phil 3:20). No longer can one be an outcast because of sin but accepted and forgiven.
How Does This Happen?
Paul tells the church that we are brought near because of the blood of Christ (3:14).
This speaks that Jesus is sacrifice, he gave himself.
We know that there needed to be a sacrifice to pay for sins. This is to show that there was a cost and that was Jesus’ life. His blood which was the payment of sin made it possible for us to draw near to God.
Because of this- Those who were outsiders were brought near as close as possible. We can’t do anything to be near. Our situation outside of Jesus is that it is impossible. But only because of Jesus and his great love in which was shown to us by him taking our punishment for our sin we can. Do you know him? Have you responded to what Jesus has done for you? Call on the name of Jesus to be saved (Romans 10:9-13).